The Entertainment Community Fund’s sold-out, one-night-only benefit performance of “Ragtime” has raised more than $1 million in support of its programs. The event — originally scheduled for 2020 and put on hold due to the pandemic — was held on March 27, 2023, at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre.
All proceeds from the evening, as well as net proceeds from merchandise sales, will support the Fund, which helps entertainment professionals via emergency financial assistance, workshops, support groups, mental health resources and more. (Merchandise is still available for purchase online and will benefit the Fund.)
“The ‘Ragtime’ reunion concert was such a gift to everyone involved: everyone on stage performing and working tirelessly backstage to make it happen; all those in the audience, many of whom had held on to their original tickets for over three years; and the people in our entertainment community who the Fund will be able to help thanks to everyone’s support and generosity,” said “Ragtime” cast member and the Fund’s chair, Brian Stokes Mitchell, in a statement.
Original principal cast members Audra McDonald, Mitchell and Peter Friedman reunited as Sarah, Coalhouse Walker Jr. and Tateh, respectively. Kelli O’Hara played the role of Mother, originated by the late Marin Mazzie. The full company consisted mainly of performers and musicians from the original Broadway production.
Lea Michele, who created the role of “Little Girl,” was also on hand to introduce a tribute honoring “Ragtime” company members who have passed away. The concert was dedicated to their memory.
Sponsors for the event included The Nederlander Organization, Ford Foundation, Art Lab, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Iris Smith, Adrienne Arsht, Bloomberg Philanthropies, ExxonMobil and Michael Kors.